The two remaining seeds — South Carolina and Virginia Tech — will take the field on Saturday as the NCAA Women’s Tournament continues with the Sweet 16 Finals. Elite Eight sites are ready for you to enjoy.
The last four regional semifinal games begin with No. 3 Notre Dame vs. No. 2 Maryland at 11:30 a.m. EST (ESPN), followed by No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 1 South Carolina.
Aliyah Boston and the Gamecocks are chasing their second straight national championship and have a slight advantage in their hometown – Greenville Regional is less than two hours away from their campus.
The rest of the evening featured No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 2 Connecticut and No. 1 Virginia Tech vs. No. 4 Tennessee, which hasn’t made it to the Elite Eight since 2016.
Follow along for live updates throughout the rest of the day:
Diamond Miller and Cheyenne Sellers scored 18 points each, leading a second-half steal to hold off Notre Dame 76-59 in the Greenville Regional 1 Sweet 16.
Maryland moves on to the Elite Eight and will take on the winner of UCLA and South Carolina.
Sellers added eight assists, five rebounds and three steals for Maryland, which led as many as 22 in the second half.
The Terrapins trailed by one in the first half, but outgained the Irish by 13 in the third quarter and kept pouring it in from there.
Notre Dame turned it over 25 times, only hit two of its 10 shots from behind the arc and couldn’t stay out of trouble.
Sonya Citron had 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Irish and was the only Notre Dame player to score in double digits.
Kim Mulkey won’t be the only one drawing attention for what she wears on the sidelines.
On Friday, the LSU coach went in a jacket that was one part Elton John, one part Muppets, and one part tea party. When asked what she thinks Mulkey might play out in Sunday’s Elite Eight game against her home team in Miami, Hurricanes coach Katie Meyer said she doesn’t know.
“But I will wear overalls,” said Meyer. “Because the opportunity is missed by a lot of people because it wears work clothes and looks like work, so I put on overalls. Put it out there.”
– Nancy Armor
Notre Dame overcame early turnovers and scored 11-0 in the second quarter to take a 32-31 lead in the Greenville Regional 1 Sweet 16 game against Maryland.
The Irish turned it over eight times in the first quarter but used their size to gain offensive rebounds to get second chance chances. Maryland was held without a point for six minutes in the second quarter and had turnover problems of their own allowing the Irish to take the lead.
Sonja Citron has eight points and Maddie Westbild has seven points, four rebounds and three fumbles for Notre Dame, who shot 52 percent in the first half.
Abby Myers leads Maryland with nine points and Brenna Alexander has eight off the bench.
– Scooby Axon
The Sweet 16 of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament kicks off Saturday with action at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina, and Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle:
► No. 3 Notre Dame vs. No. 2 Maryland
Time/TV: Sat. 11:30 a.m. ET, ESPN
► No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 1 South Carolina
Time/TV: Saturday, 2:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
► No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 2 UConn
Time/TV: Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET, ABC
► No. 1 Virginia Tech vs. No. 4 Tennessee
Time/TV: Saturday, 6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2
This is only the second trip to the Sweet 16, and the first since 1999, for Virginia Tech, which is trying to establish itself as one of the best programs in the country. Winning the ACC tournament and getting the top seed helped, but if they want to keep themselves in the conversation next season and the season after that, the Hokies need to keep winning.
The Elite Eight used to be a given to Tennessee, it was a part of their schedule. But the Lady Vols haven’t gotten that far since 2016. He’s truly the first team that seemed to have the potential of the old Tennessee teams, and his performance in the first two rounds reminded people why he was a fashionable Final Four pick in the preseason.
– Nancy Armor, Lindsey Schnell
Twelve women have advanced to the Sweet 16 spot, the most since 2015, when 13 coaches moved their teams that far (three are the same: Don Staley of South Carolina, Brenda Friese of Maryland and Lisa Bluder of Iowa). Only once in the tournament’s history have all 16 teams been coached by women – the first year, in 1982.
Three out of 12 are black women — Staley, Ole Miss, Yollette McPhee-McQueen and Notre Dame’s Nell Ivey — a number that resonates in sports with 44% of black athletes.
“It’s only important because I have aspirations of wanting to coach,” said Jordan Walker of Tennessee, a senior guard. “To be able to see Dawn Staley and Coach Yo in those situations, it’s just like, ‘You little black girls, they can do that too. It’s really inspiring. It makes you want to push harder, because the foot is in a whirlpool. With three ( Black women) is in Sweet 16 right now, what could it be next?”
– Lindsey Schnell
While Aliyah Boston is the most important part of the Gamecocks’ roster, it is not the biggest problem for opposing teams. They are her teammates.
Boston, along with the rest of the starting five, led South Carolina to the top seed overall and a presumptive favorite to repeat as national champions. Most women in basketball—including Sweet 16 opponent South Carolina, fourth-ranked UCLA—would even love to have one of the Gamecocks’ starting players on their roster. But they will also be happy to have a reserve.
– Lindsey Schnell
Seattle – Another day, another 30-point game from Caitlin Clark.
Iowa’s junior guard scored 31 goals and had eight assists on Friday to advance the second-ranked Hockey League to the Elite Eight with an 87-77 win over sixth-ranked Colorado at Climate Pledge Arena.
Colorado had plenty of opportunities to overtake Iowa’s lead but couldn’t capitalize on it. The Buffs beat Iowa 40-32, grabbing 21 offensive board runs, but could only convert them into 15 second chance points (Iowa, meanwhile, scored 11 second chance points of their own).
– Lindsey Schnell
The game was quite a close game, but the No. 3 LSU Tigers Friday emerged victorious over No. 2 Utah Utes, 66-63. Utah had a chance to lead the game with four seconds left after taking a 7-0 lead, but Jenna Johnson missed both of her free throws. LSU’s Alexis Morris sealed the deal and sent the Tigers to their first Elite Eight since 2008 with her pair of free throws.
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